In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this summer I signed a new law that gives all registered voters in Connecticut the ability to vote during the November 3, 2020 General Election using an absentee ballot. While it is important to note that polls will still be open like normal from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day and you can vote in-person if you want, all registered voters also have the option this year of voting by absentee ballot.
If you want to vote by absentee ballot in Connecticut, this is what you need to do:
- Obtain an absentee ballot application: The Secretary of the State has mailed absentee ballot applications to every active, registered voter in the state. If you haven’t received one yet, it should arrive in the mail within the next several days. You can also download the application online here. It is important to note that this is not a ballot – it is just an application that you need to fill out to request a ballot.
- Fill out the application: When you fill out the application, state law requires you to check a box indicating the reason why you need to vote using an absentee ballot. This year, all voters have the option of selecting “COVID-19” as a reason, in addition to the six existing reasons.
- Send the application to your Town Clerk: Once filled out, you must send the application to the Town Clerk where you are registered to vote. You can drop it in one of the secure ballot boxes that have been installed outside of every Town Hall, send it in the mail, or hand deliver it at your Town Clerk’s office.
- Once the application is processed, an absentee ballot will be mailed to the voter starting on October 2: Absentee ballots will be mailed to voters who requested one beginning October 2, 2020. By law, absentee ballots cannot be mailed prior to October 2.
- Complete your absentee ballot: When filling out your absentee ballot, make sure to follow all of the instructions as required, otherwise your vote may not be processed. Remember to sign the inner envelope, seal only your ballot inside of the inner envelope (one ballot per envelope), and seal the inner envelope inside of the outer envelope.
- Send your completed absentee ballot to your Town Clerk: Similar to how you returned your application, you must send your completed ballot to the Town Clerk where you are registered to vote. You can drop it in one of the secure ballot boxes that have been installed outside of every Town Hall, send it in the mail, or hand deliver it at your Town Clerk’s office.
- All ballots must be received by the close of polls at 8:00 P.M. on November 3: To ensure that the Town Clerk receives your absentee ballot in time and it doesn’t get held up due to delays in mail delivery, it is strongly recommended that you return your ballot by using the secure drop boxes that have been installed outside of your local Town Hall.
- Check to see if you are registered to vote
- Register to vote online or update your registration
- Find your polling place
- Town Clerk contact list
For Connecticut’s voter information center, visit myvote.ct.gov.
I was invited to speak to the Norwalk police union’s executive board on Friday afternoon July 24, two days after I hosted union leaders at my home to talk about the pending police accountability bill.
After arriving in headquarters, officers using expletives demanded to know what I was doing there. While discussing the pending legislation with the union leaders, others — rank-and-file members — entered the room in what was a show of force.
After the meeting ended, I was asked by an officer not on the executive board for a few minutes of my time. As we were talking, the single door opened and I saw one of the officers, and about twenty other officers behind him. He then looked at me in a menacing manner, and spit at me. Yes, spit at me. I was shocked and could not believe this was the Department I have supported my entire legislative career.
As I was driving away, police came out from the back of the station and looked as if they were going to surround my car. Whether that was their intention or not, I don’t know, but it appeared to be another bullying and intimidation tactic.
The two weeks after the bill passed, a motorist drove by my house twice a day, slowing down, stopping and shouting more expletives that were heard by my wife and kids.
I still believe that the majority of the Norwalk police do their job and do it well, but what keeps me up at night is the fact that if they treat somebody like me who’s white, has privilege, is elected and is the Senate majority leader, how are they treating others who don’t have that same platform and don’t have the ability to speak up like I do?